2011 saw the USA Cycling sanctioned National Championships come to the Southeast for the first time ever. Beech Mountain Resort was given a two year deal to host the biggest event in the US with an opportunity to convince the naysayers that there is a DH scene in the South. With one year worth of experience under their belt and the mountain’s future a priority in the 2012 event planning process, this year’s event is guaranteed to be a, “Can’t miss party!” Here’s what’s in store, at a high level, for race weekend:
Day One - Thursday July 19:
Morning Course Walk - All
DS and DH Practice - All
Day Two - Friday July 20:
Cat 2/3 DH Race/Awards
Day Three - Sat July 21:
2nd Annual Brews and Views
Day Four - Sun July 22:
Cat 1 and Pro DH Race/Awards
USA Cycling Detailed Schedule
What else can we do? Well, most of us will be in attendance for one purpose…. Racing, but during the “down” time the resort has plenty for us all to just kick back and relax. After the crowning of the Men’s and Women’s Dual Slalom National Champions on Saturday evening, you can taste your favorite cold beverage at the second annual Brews and Views Festival (tickets sold separately). Attendees can sample from more than 40 craft brews including Blowing Rock Summer Ale, Southern Tier Hop Sun, Krombacher, Shock Top IPA, Leffe, Brooklyn Brown, Abita Purple Haze, Blue Point Hoptical Illusion, Lonerider Sweet Josie, Natty Greene Old Town Brown, Fatty Maddy, Aviator Hotrod Red, Oskar Blues, New Belgium Fat Tire, and Carolina Strawberry. All this while enjoying tunes from three local bands, The Shane Pruitt Band, a noted blues group from Spartanburg, S.C.; Enemy Lovers, an indie rock band from Asheville; and modern bluegrass sensation Brushfire Stankgrass of Asheville.
Yep, you can even tell your mom and dad to bring your little brother or sister. There’s even stuff for the fam to do. “The success of this event is imperative to the progression of cycling in the High Country,” said Beech Mountain Resort Marketing Director Talia Freeman. “It is our goal to provide a family-oriented and spectator-friendly event.” In addition to your family members biting their finger nails hoping that you’ll put in a clean fast run, they can take the kids and hitch a ride on the lift with views of the riders on course and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Other youth specific activities include a kids village with games and inflatables, plus a bike rodeo for a chance to win a Specialized youth mountain bike. Fun for all ages and all members of your family.
What about Beech’s future? Well, how does a sustained Downhill purpose built bike park? If that is the answer you are looking, then you are in LUCK! Make sure you pencil into your schedule the biggest party that will be thrown in the Mountain’s history. The Grand Opening of the Beech Mountain bike park is scheduled to take place on Memorial Day Weekend 2013. Don’t miss it!
In the end, what will bring us all together for this great race weekend will be in getting out on the slope riding bikes….. well, that and the opportunity to be able to say, ”I am the fastest in the United States”, with a cool medal to prove it. Come on out, bring your friends and family……. We promise you will have a great time! See you all out there!
Text – Talia Freeman, Beech Mountain Resort and Jay Schultz, Dirt Passion Media
Photos – Jay Schultz, Dirt Passion Media